State Superintendent Candidate John Humphries Proposes New State School Report Cards

New Report Cards Would Shift Attention To Closing State's Achievement Gap Between White And Black Students

State Superintendent Candidate John Humphries Proposes His New School Report Card
Ross Terrell/ WPR

State Superintendent candidate, John Humphries, proposed changes to the state’s school report cards Thursday in Milwaukee.

Humphries said the new report card will be more transparent and shift attention to ways to close the nation’s largest achievement gap between black and white students.

“This gap proposal looks at how fast kids are closing achievement gaps and how much support the school is giving to kids to do that,” he said. “So this is more honest and open about how fast they’re closing achievement gaps, it helps address the problem.”

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As part of his plan, schools would be given a letter grade for academic achievement and growth. To receive an “A” for growth, students in a school must be learning at a rate higher than 70 percent of their peers across the country.

To receive an “A” for academic achievement, at least 80 percent of students must be proficient. The new report cards would standardize what’s considered proficient on state tests.

Humphries said his plan would paint a more accurate picture of what’s going on in Wisconsin schools. He said current proficiency levels are set by state educators and change too often. He said that provides a false narrative on how students are truly performing. Under his plan proficiency would be based on national standards.

“We’re going to ask one simple question,” Humphries said. “What was the score necessary on the 11th grade ACT for a student to have an 80 percent chance of passing English and math classes as a college freshman?”

He said the new report card would take into account school climate, safety and other non-academic factors.

The proposed report card is one of nine proposals Humphries will roll out during his campaign.